Senator Rivera Releases Statement in Response to Supreme Court Decision on SB 1070

Gustavo Rivera

June 25, 2012

Bronx, NY - Senator Gustavo Rivera (D,WF-Bronx) today issued the following statement in response to the Supreme Court 5-3 decision to strike down three provisions of SB 1070, Arizona's controversial anti-immigrant law, while narrowly upholding a fourth part of the law that requires police to check the immigration status of anyone who they suspect may be undocumented:


"I believe the Supreme Court's decision today was an important step toward victory for immigrant communities throughout the country. The ruling stands as the first of many rulings against states that overreach their constitutional powers by trying to enforce federal immigration law. Today, thanks to the Supreme Court, Arizona will not be able to make it a crime for immigrants to fail to carry identification or to apply for a job, and Arizona police will not be able to arrest someone based solely on the suspicion that he or she is undocumented.


Unfortunately, the Court upheld the racial profiling "show your papers" provision of SB 1070 [Section 2(b)]. This policy only makes the job of law enforcement more difficult because it makes Latino and immigrant communities feel unwelcome and unlikely to report crimes when they take place. While we did not get a full reversal of SB 1070, I am confident that the courts will continue to strike down anti-immigrant state legislation and that today's decision opens the door further for SB 1070 to eventually be struck down in its entirety.


I am proud to be a state legislator in New York State, where we have made smarter and more progressive policy choices on issues of immigration. Instead of trying to limit immigration to New York City and New York State, we have encouraged and strengthened immigrant communities who help our city and state thrive, start new businesses and create jobs. But we still have a long way to go.


In New York State, we have the opportunity to level the playing field for our immigrant youth, ensuring they have access to financial aid so that they can attend and graduate from our universities. Our legislature has not yet passed the New York State DREAM Act and the DREAM Fund, which would make higher education more affordable for our state's talented, aspiring college students. After President Obama's announcement that protects DREAMers from deportation and instead, provides them with work permits, we in New York must take action to get DREAMers even closer to having a shot at the American dream.


Today's ruling reaffirms the importance and need for common-sense state immigration policies that expand opportunity for all residents, both immigrant and native-born. I know New York will continue to take a leadership role in fighting for the rights of immigrants and for their inclusion in our government and our communities."